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Jackrabbits Ride Big Second Half To Another Summit League Crown

It was deja vu all over again for South Dakota State, as the Jackrabbits beat North Dakota State 75-53 Saturday in Brookings in much the same way SDSU knocked off NDSU last month in Fargo.

The win wraps up at least a share of the Summit League regular season championship for the third straight year.

The Jackrabbits couldn’t buy a basket early, missing their first five shots, but the defense limited the Bison to just one basket while forcing three turnovers in the first two minutes.  The Bison turned it over 11 times in the first half.

With the game tied at eight, SDSU reeled off seven straight with a balanced attack, Tara Heiser and Mariah Clarin each with six first half points, Clarin added seven rebounds in the first 20 minutes.

But NDSU cut into that seven point lead thanks to Marena Whittle’s 12 first half points, and it was 28-26 SDSU at intermission, as neither team cracked 40 percent shooting in the first half.

The game seemed very reminiscent of the first meeting last month in Fargo, where both team struggled from the floor in the first half and were separated by just one point at the break.

The second half also looked familiar as the Jacks took control, just like in game one.

Chynna Stevens erupting for 13 second half points, as SDSU shot 55 percent after halftime.  Stevens was the only Jacks player in double figures with 18 for the game.

SDSU was 21-of-25 from the line in the second half and outscored NDSU by 15 at the charity stripe, leading by as many as 23.

Holly Johnson led the Bison with 17 points.

South Dakota State (20-8/11-1) closes out the regular season on the road at Denver Thursday and at South Dakota Sunday.

SUMMIT LEAGUE RECAP: USD 79 WESTERN ILLINOIS 76

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